Memphis: Exclusive Edition (Hardback)Tara M. Stringfellow (author)
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Charting the story of three generations of women from a family in Memphis, Stringfellow‘s assured and evocative debut delivers an epic yet intimate history of black womanhood that is perfect for fans of The Vanishing Half and An American Marriage.
Shortlisted for The Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize 2022
Waterstones Exclusive Edition with exclusive extra chapter
A Standard edition is available here
Joan can't change her family's past. But she can create her future.
Joan was only a child the last time she visited Memphis. She doesn't remember the bustle of Beale Street on a summer's night. She doesn't know she's as likely to hear a gunshot ring out as the sound of children playing. How the smell of honeysuckle is almost overwhelming as she climbs the porch steps to the house where her mother grew up. But when the front door opens, she does remember Derek.
This house full of history is home to the women of the North family. They are no strangers to adversity; resilience runs in their blood. Fifty years ago, Hazel's husband was lynched by his all-white police squad, yet she made a life for herself and her daughters in the majestic house he built for them. August lives there still, running a salon where the neighbourhood women gather. And now this house is the only place Joan has left. It is in sketching portraits of the women in her life, her aunt and her mother, the women who come to have their hair done, the women who come to chat and gossip, that Joan begins laughing again, begins living.
Memphis is a celebration of the enduring strength of female bonds, of what we pass down, from mother to daughter. Epic in scope yet intimate in detail, it is a vivid portrait of three generations of a Southern black family, as well as an ode to the city they call home.
Publisher: John Murray Press
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 460 g
Dimensions: 238 x 158 x 28 mm
'Written with the grace of a poet, Memphis is as hopeful as it is heartbreaking. I fell in love with this family, from Joan's fierce heart to her grandmother Hazel's determined resilience. Tara Stringfellow will be an author to watch for years to come... A stellar debut' - Jacqueline Woodson
'In luminous, lyrical prose, Tara Stringfellow sings the song of the North women - and the North men - with wisdom, humor, and deep humanity. Memphis is an American epic, a tribute to life in all of its sorrow and joyful resilience' - Chloe Benjamin
'An evocative, compelling tale... Tara M Stringfellow assembles an endearing and unforgettable cast of characters who find strength in vulnerability, safety in art, and liberation in telling the truth. This is a shining, splendid testimony in the vein of Gloria Naylor, Delores Phillips, Ayana Mathis, and Honoree Jeffers' - Robert Jones, Jr.
'This vivid debut novel examines the tragedies, joys, and deep connections of one extraordinary Memphis family... A powerful family saga from a promising writer' - Booklist
'This beautifully written debut will transport, challenge and transfix you... The novel is an ode to the city and the Black women living there. There's a great sense of the women's enigma and enchantment, humour and fortitude' - Adele Parks
'A stunning debut, a deeply affecting portrait of familial bonds. Rich with indelible black women and Southern charm' - Irenosen Okojie
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